Dallas-based Aviall (Booth 1885) came to this week’s NBAA convention with announcements of several new distribution agreements, including the expansion of the company’s support portfolio for GE Aviation CF34-3A and -3A2 turbofans on the Bombardier Challenger 601.
In a deal that could be a preview for the already red-hot helicopter leasing market, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) announced October 13 that it is acquiring helicopter leasing firm Milestone Aviation for $1.775 billion.
The engineering team for GE Aviation’s new GE9X turbofan has completed development of the new carbon fiber composite material that will allow the powerplant for Boeing’s new 777X airliner to use fewer, thinner fan blades. Combined with the use of new composite case technology developed for the GEnx program, the engine will be around 1,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
Precision Aviation Group has acquired Aviation Controls (ACI), an MRO for engine accessories specializing in components and accessories for the GE J-85, Honeywell LTS-101 and Rolls-Royce 250 engines. David Mast, president and CEO of PAG, said, “The acquisition of ACI further diversifies PAG’s MRO capabilities by expanding our services into engine accessories. Our investment in ACI allows us to provide our customers additional capabilities that will improve service levels and facilitate more streamlined purchasing operations.
GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services division is using big data techniques to help airlines to improve their profit margins with a particular focus on reducing fuel burn. “Fuel accounts for 40 percent of airline costs with around $215 billion spent on this each year,” said general manager Giovanni Spitale. “GE thinks that if machines can talk to each other using the industrial internet [a term coined by GE] we can make better sense of that [fuel consumption].”
The technology stakes are high for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X twinjet, but GE Aviation believes its big bet on the weight savings to be delivered by unprecedented use of composites is about to pay off. The U.S. engine maker, which currently holds orders for some 600 of the engines, is leaving nothing to chance and, with more than two years of technology maturation behind it, the company is now stepping up its test program en route to certification in 2018.
GE Aviation expects this month to fly the Passport engine that will power Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000. GE has shipped the first complete engine to Victorville, Calif., where it is about to be fitted to one of the company’s two Boeing 747 flying testbeds.
GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies have formed a joint-venture company, GE Evergreen Engine Services, to specialize in the overhaul of the GEnx engine.
A spokesman for GE Aviation told AIN the two parties are investing approximately $130 million over the next five years.
The new venture will be located at the GE Aviation and Evergreen Aviation Technologies facility in Taipei. The facility currently provides airframe and engine work. “There is also ample real estate available, so we’re looking at all the options,” said the spokesman.
GE Aviation announced on March 26 that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., to produce Leap engines for narrowbody airliners as part of its CFM International joint venture with France’s Snecma. It expects the plant will create 200 jobs by 2020.
Santa Rosa, Calif.-based KaiserAir announced Rick Brainard has joined the organization as director of maintenance marketing and business development. Brainard’s recent experience includes aviation consulting with Aerick Global, roles in business development, v-p sales and general manager with West Star Aviation, various roles with McKinney Aerospace, and sales leadership roles with GE Aircraft Engines, AlliedSignal and BFGoodrich.
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